Patrick Arrington

Palmetto High School junior Patrick Arrington has approximately 1,200 community service hours. He earned many of those hours while working to complete his Boy Scout Eagle project.

“I did the project, back in June 2009,” Arrington says. “It dealt with refurbishing Sunfish out of the Coconut Grove Sailing Club.”

Arrington and his crew worked on 13 Sunfish. The four that were in the best condition were fitted with new lines. The other boats got gel coats and fiberglass repair. “It took two days to do the whole refurbishment,” he says. “Luckily the weather did cooperate with us. There were a couple of mishaps where we had to get other people involved from around the club, but it worked out.” The project drew 20 people the first day and18 on the second day. They had Boy Scouts, Sea Scouts and members of the sailing club, as well as other friends who just wanted to help. He raised the $600 he needed for the project by having a garage sale out of his home.

“It was $1.20 more than I actually needed, so it was just right,” he says.

What makes the project special is that the boats are used to teach inner city kids how to sail. “I also do community service activities with sailing in the inner city Grove through the Coconut Grove Sailing Club Rotary sailing program,” he says. Arrington has been sailing since he was 10. “I went through my array of sports as any child typically does,” he says. “My dad had sailed when he was younger, so he found a sailing summer camp (for me) and I was hooked. I’ve just been attached to the water and all, and I’ve been around the Grove so much, it all made sense to benefit the Grove.” Arrington also sails competitively out of the Coral Reef Yacht Club.

“Right now I’m doing the 420 program,” he says. “It’s a two-person boat. I skipper and my crew is from Ft. Lauderdale. This summer I’m going to the Coast Guard Academy to defend my championship at the bi-annual William I Koch Sea Scout Cup.” Along with being a Boy Scout, he’s also a Sea Scout. He’s the Council Boatswain, which is the equivalent to being the top petty officer, for Dade, Broward and Monroe. He is also a youth servant leader at his church, St. Louis Catholic Church. “We help ninth graders, typically confirmation students, reach confirmation throughout the year,” he says.

Along with those projects, he put in an application through the Pepsi Refresh Grant for a project that he hopes to work on in the summer of 2011. The grant would help him combat teen suicide. “I’ve had friends who had siblings or other close friends that have actually gone and committed suicide,” Arrington says. “I recently had friends in Maine who had a 13-year-old boy jump off a bridge to commit suicide.”

The project includes music. He’s been in contact with a Minnesota band that would play in each of the places that he plans to visit. “I’m looking all over and going across at least the continental U.S.,” he says. “But I would not limit it to one specific area.” Arrington hopes to major in chemistry in college, and also continue to sail. He’s narrowed his choices to six schools that have both chemistry and sailing programs. They include the University of Florida, Vanderbilt, Rice, University of Texas at Austin, UNC Chapel Hill and Florida State.

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